Definition of welfare in English:



mass noun
  • 1The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.

    ‘they don't give a damn about the welfare of their families’
    • ‘He was found guilty of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees.’
    • ‘We have been let down by people who should have been looking after Laura's health and welfare and we are all devastated.’
    • ‘He had no thought but for me, my welfare, my comfort, my safety, my happiness.’
    • ‘However, housing some birds would not be in their interest where health and welfare is concerned.’
    • ‘It's total disregard for the financial and emotional welfare of everyone involved.’
    • ‘We need to ensure that no one has to put the health and welfare of his or her family at risk in order to keep a job.’
    • ‘He said that the health, safety and welfare of officers was always of concern.’
    • ‘It is your programme in writing for managing health, safety and welfare within your business.’
    • ‘Its bosses say they are looking to reduce sugar and fat for the health and welfare of us all.’
    • ‘He has not been heard from since, and there are grave concerns for his safety and welfare.’
    • ‘They should not only care for the welfare of the children, but should also have financial knowledge.’
    • ‘There's an interesting conference about animal welfare going on somewhere at the moment.’
    • ‘Provision for the pupils' care, health, safety and welfare is very good.’
    • ‘Our paramount concerns are for his and other patient's welfare and safety.’
    • ‘If you are interested in animal welfare there are two young dogs urgently in need of homes.’
    • ‘After a month or so a programme of home visits begins, and enquiries are made about the health and general welfare of each family.’
    • ‘The agency said the decision was taken to ensure the children's safety and welfare.’
    • ‘Tributes are being paid to a North Yorkshire woman who was devoted to the protection and welfare of cats.’
    • ‘Their help and support over the past few months have made an immense difference to the welfare and happiness of our family.’
    • ‘The confidentiality was agreed to protect the interests and welfare of the student.’
    • ‘This type of cost cutting threatens the health and welfare of local residents.’
    • ‘All or most states already have laws to protect the health and welfare of animals.’
    well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
    View synonyms
  • 2Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.

    ‘the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare’
    • ‘Health spending, welfare and aged care benefits are seen as the main culprits.’
    • ‘Social welfare, designed to fill the gap where the family can no longer provide, hardly exists.’
    • ‘I am proud of our social welfare system and the safety net it provides for those who need it.’
    • ‘In part, this reflects the fact that such groups are benefiting from welfare privatisation.’
    • ‘In the six years since Labour came to power we have seen our public services and welfare system eroded almost into extinction.’
    • ‘They want more spent on education, health and welfare and they want it now.’
    • ‘To be sure, every increase in wages and social welfare measures boosts demand.’
    • ‘The youth criminal justice system is expanding into areas that child welfare services would once have intervened in.’
    • ‘In this argument charity is private benevolence and social welfare is public.’
    • ‘Political involvement was the foundation of all social welfare and public service.’
    • ‘Workers remembered the privatisations, sackings, and attacks on social security and welfare.’
    • ‘Statutory welfare agencies have also used the threat of criminalization to secure compliance to new social norms.’
    • ‘Social welfare service employees and municipal inspectors are also on strike.’
    • ‘On public sector privatisation and cuts in welfare benefits, Labour and the Tories are united.’
    • ‘Firstly immigrants and refugees are not a drain on the NHS and the social welfare services.’
    • ‘Mr. Rector has advocated devoting much more federal welfare money for promoting marriage.’
    • ‘They also tend to spend more time on study and meditation and less on social affairs and community welfare programmes.’
    1. 2.1North American Financial support given to those who are unemployed or otherwise in need.
      ‘critics feared an increase in inequalities in the provision of welfare’
      • ‘We must look behind these numbers to see if how families fare after leaving welfare.’
      • ‘The implications for long-term funding of welfare and pensions is profound.’
      • ‘America, rightly or wrongly, spends a great deal on welfare.’
      • ‘A decade ago, some Chumash still relied on welfare and donated clothing.’
      • ‘We know that real jobs are a better guarantee of prosperity for the unemployed than welfare.’
      • ‘The Government wants to keep putting up taxes in order to support its welfare expenditure.’
      • ‘Dependency on welfare was growing and approaching the peak it would reach in 1995.’
      • ‘First, cuts in welfare and other social programs have reduced government health insurance.’
      • ‘The workers are demanding an expansion and prompt payment of welfare benefits to the unemployed.’
      • ‘What got me back was that I was on food stamps and welfare and I had a family to support.’
      • ‘Welfare benefits are being reduced and new provisions introduced to restrict access to welfare.’
      social security, benefit, state benefit, benefit payment, public assistance
      View synonyms


Middle English: from the adverb well + the verb fare.